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Monk et al. (1990) recently concluded that hickories (Carya spp.) are not important enough in eastern United States forests to justify the Oak-Hickory and Oak-Pine-Hickory names which have been applied to some regions. This conflicts with a finding by Farrell and Ware (1991) that hickories are abundant in forests of the northern Virginia Piedmont. A reanalysis of composition of 75 upland hardwood forest stands from the south, central, and northern Virginia Piedmont revealed that hickories had high structural importance in 15 stands of Triassic substrates in northern Virginia, but were rarely important in 60 stands on the prevailing non-Triassic (Paleozoic and pre-Cambrian) substrates in either northern, central, or southern Virginia. In the 60 stands, Carya importance value ranked behind Quercus, Nyssa, and Acer, even though the latter two genera were represented by only one species each (vs. four species of Carya). There seems to be little quantitative basis for including hickory in the name of the prevailing hardwood forest association of the Virginia Piedmont. Monk et al.'s (1989) proposed names "mixed oak" or "oak" may be more appropriate than the "oak-(pine)-hickory" name used by Oosting (1956), Vankat (1979), and Greller (1988, 1989).
Castanea © 1992 Southern Appalachian Botanical Society